Will Turkey go on amber list? If holiday hotspot will move from red list to amber after next UK travel update
As one of the most popular international holiday destinations on the red travel list, many are hoping Turkey will be moved to the amber list at the UK Government’s next review this week
Holidaymakers are hoping that the popular tourist hotspot will finally go from the red list to amber after this week’s review.
There was disappointment for travellers and travel agencies alike following the last travel update, when Turkey remained red amid speculation it would be bumped down to the amber.
Fully-vaccinated travellers coming back to Scotland from amber list destinations no longer need to quarantine for 10 days.
So, will Turkey go on the amber list?
Here’s what you need to know.
Will Turkey go on the amber list?
Turkey has been on the red list since May, meaning almost all travel from the holiday destination to the UK is prohibited.
British and Irish nationals and people who have residence rights in the UK are able to return from the country, but they must quarantine in a government-mandated hotel for 10 days at a cost of thousands of pounds.
The current travel traffic light system - which was introduced on a four-nations basis during the Covid lockdown to allow international leisure travel to restart - will be reviewed this Thursday (26 August).
And Turkey expects to be removed from the red list at this latest update, the country’s UK embassy told Sky News.
In a statement, it said: "The scientific data on Covid-19 support our expectation that Turkey will be removed from the red list at the upcoming review.”
The London embassy said case numbers in the country were falling and were now lower than the UK’s own figures.
It referenced data from Our World in Data, which shows that the seven-day average for new cases of the virus in Turkey is 232.46, compared to the UK’s 464.76.
Turkey is hoping for a boost to its tourism sector after it was severely hit by wildfires at the start of this month.
Why could Turkey be moved from red list to amber?
The embassy also said more than half of adults in the country had received two Covid vaccine doses.
It added that the fact a range of EU countries allow quarantine-free travel from Turkey for fully-jabbed travellers was further evidence as to why the country should be moved onto the amber list.
"We expect the UK to take into account all these developments and remove Turkey from the red list this week," the embassy said.
Only 1.7% of people arriving into the UK from Turkey tested positive for Covid during the latest three-week period, according to NHS Test and Trace data.
This figure, which is down from 3% in March and April, is the same as Spain which is currently on the amber list.
And cases of “variants of concern” also remain low in Turkey at between zero and three.
Travel expert Tim White, who regularly posts updates on Covid cases around the world on Twitter, said Turkey is a “borderline candidate” to be moved from the red list at the upcoming review.
He told the i paper: “Infection rates have started coming down rapidly and on the face of it there is a decent chance of Turkey being upgraded to amber.
“However much will depend on the numbers of travellers from Turkey arriving into UK with the infection.”
What are the amber list quarantine rules?
Fully jabbed adults who are arriving from countries on the amber list no longer have to quarantine, as long as they have been inoculated through a UK vaccination programme.
However, travellers must also still take a PCR test on day two of their arrival back to Scotland.
Anyone who tests positive for, or has symptoms of, Covid will still need to self-isolate for 10 days.
Meanwhile, unvaccinated people returning from amber countries to Scotland must still take two post-arrival tests on day two and day eight, as well as quarantining at home for 10 days.
Those in England have the option to pay for a private test on day five to end isolation, but this does not apply in Scotland.
You must also complete a passenger locator form, and take a Covid test before travelling.
The Scottish Government still advises that no one should be travelling to amber list countries, unless for essential reasons.